Hot Chocolate

It’s a lovely but cold January day and I just got back from taking a 2 mile walk along the Codman fields in Lincoln. There is something special about these fields. In the summer, hay grows and the farm cuts it and stores it for the winter. Freshly mowed hay has the most amazing fragrance….sweet and sunny. Yes, sunny does have a fragrance, at least to me. In the spring, one section of the fields is home to the egg laying chickens. Gladys and the girls are very busy all day, running from under one coop to the next and back again. There is a flow to what the girls do….I just have yet to figure out why they do it! Among the egg layers are the chickens that are destined to a terrible fate….if you are a chicken you’d agree with me on this one. I try not to think of that and just know that the life they have had in the fields has been good. Gladys and her friends spend the summer and into the fall in the field, moving from one section to the next, eating the clover and making delicious eggs. They are good girls and field dog Andy keep them safe by keeping the foxes and coyotes out of the pastures.

Across the road, in a far corner of the field are the turkeys. Not the wild ones, the farm raised for only one purpose turkeys. They are tucked away in an area where they are less likely to be observed. This is probably good because we know what fate awaits them in the fall. I would not want to get to chummy with them because any friendship we might make will be short lived. Toby the field dog keeps an eye on them.

Andy and Toby are Anatolian Shepherds that are meant for this kind of work. They are big but seem to be quite docile, laying in the grass, chewing on big old frozen dog bones and enjoying the goings on in the coops. But I imagine that if you are a fox, Toby and Andy are all business. Good boys.

In one field, there is a small but fun herd of Red Devon cattle. This is where I first met my little friend Curly. This small herd whiles away the day, eating grass, fertilizing grass, and spending every second of every minute trying to swat flies away from their bodies. It creeps me out since I dislike flying bugs immensely. But the cattle appear used to it. On more than once occasion, Curly managed to get out of the enclosure and wandered freely along the edge of the field. But he always went back because he was smart enough to know where Mom was. In the fall, the cattle are moved back to the main farm where they spend the winter with the rest of the herd in the high pasture.

And then there are the Llamas. They have their very own big fenced in field with a Llama barn and all the things Llamas need, whatever that is. I don’t spend much time with them, they are not so friendly. Maybe if I did spend more time, they’d warm up to me. Maybe this year….

So today I walked along these fields and aside from the Llamas, the fields are empty. Gladys and Curly are back on the main farm and the turkeys…..well, we all know what happened to them. But as I walked along, the sun was shining brightly and the smell of the freshly cut hay still lingers in the air. It is why I walk along these fields so I can bring back the feeling of warmer days where life on the farm seems so carefree.

So what about hot chocolate? It really has nothing to do with anything other than I made myself a cup when I got home to help warm me from my travels.


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